Do We Live in an Age of Melancholy?

What’s going on with the world? Suicides among the current generation of young people are 300% up from the previous generation, studies show that those born near the end of the twentieth century are 3 times more likely to suffer from clinical depression than those born a few decades earlier, depression has become the most common serious mental illness diagnosed by psychiatrists, the list goes on.

Is it society, or is it us that’s to blame?

Admittedly, people are more aware of depression as an illness than they’ve ever been before. There’s also less stigma. Could it be that we’re more willing to admit that we’re depressed than ever before? Are earlier generations just better at “keeping a stiff upper lip?” An interesting study appears to contradict this perspective.

An anthropologist who studied the Kaluli tribe who live a traditional, agrarian lifestyle in the wilds of New Guinea, found only one individual in two thousand exhibiting the classic symptoms of clinical depression. That’s particularly interesting when one takes into account the high premature mortality rate within the community and their lack of access to modern conveniences.

The anthropologist concluded that the human mind is well adapted to an agrarian society and simply hasn’t had time to adapt to the incredible changes in society that followed the industrial revolution.

If that’s true, then modern society is certainly to blame. But what could be the matter? Surely we have longer, fuller lives and access to modern conveniences that kings would have considered as wonderful luxuries only a few hundred years ago. What’s the real problem that’s causing this massive upsurge in depression?

What are the experts saying?

On the medical front, the experts aren’t talking about anything we mightn’t have guessed at: increased stress, and lack of old-fashioned community and family support are most often blamed. Some analysts add poor nutrition and lack of exercise or proper sleep to the list of possible causes for the massive increase in depression.

We can’t deny that we’re living faster-paced lives than people dreamed of a generation or two ago. We’re confronted with hurry, heavy workloads, complicated financial commitments and unhealthy food choices on a daily basis. Families are fragmented, spread across countries and continents and divorce is common. Communities have become too large to be personal and these days, most of us don’t even know our neighbors.

Those with a more spiritual bent are saying much the same thing. There’s a lack of closeness, support and peacefulness in our lives that is sure to exhaust the hardiest soul. The number of people who have religious convictions is on the decline, and with it the number of people who can draw comfort from spirituality and faith.

What should we do?

Those of us who have never suffered from depression need to become more aware of the symptoms and implications of depression. We need to know how to recognize depression and we need to understand it. If someone close to us is suffering from depression, our help and understanding can make the difference.

Depression has causes, and these can be embedded in our lifestyles. If we suffer from depression, identifying the potential root causes and eliminating or mitigating them constitutes the only possible long-term cure. Treating the symptoms of depression will simply not be enough. The problem with depression is that it affects our clarity of thought. Consider going for counseling if you suspect that you are suffering from depression.

What lifestyle changes can help to prevent and cure depression?

The answer to this question depends on the individual’s circumstances, but the following strategies may help:

  • Look for ways to simplify your life
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Get enough exercise
  • Spend time having fun with people who are close to you
  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat a healthy diet and don’t skip meals

Panic Attacks: A Disorder that can be Easily & Efficiently Alleviated

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over four million individuals living in the United States suffer from panic attacks. Are you one of them?

Panic attacks usually occur when a sufferer of this disorder is in a nerve-wracking situation, such as when reading an essay in front of a classroom, when an argument arises, when intimidation overpowers, when flying or undertaking a multitude of other anxiety-inducing activities.

When a panic attack is taking place, the heart begins to pound faster, as if it wants to come out through the throat! Other symptoms of a panic attack that may occur are dizziness, a tingling sensation, twitching muscles, sweaty palms, flushed face, fear of losing control, terror, trembling, fear of going crazy, fear of a stroke and fear of dying.

The good news is that usually panic attacks only last a couple of minutes. Despite their short duration, many panic attack sufferers will tell you that they are one of the worst disorders that anybody can experience, as you feel as if you don’t have control of your own body no matter how many times you keep telling yourself that everything is going to be okay.

The worst thing about suffering from panic attacks is that it can become a long-term condition and can occur at any time of the year. But, thankfully, there are certain medications and techniques that can help alleviate this issue once and for all.

Panic attack sufferers can either opt to take medication every day, which can help a lot but might cause an addiction in the long-term, or opt to try hypnotherapy for their panic attacks, which can solve this matter from the root after a couple of sessions, without causing any addictive forming habits.

Whatever route you opt to take, make sure you cut back on caffeine and try to include daily exercise in your routine as it has been proven that by doing this you can help alleviate your matter much more efficiently, while being under treatment.

The Psychological Effects of Herpes

When a person is diagnosed with the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), it is common for them to experience a number of powerful emotions, particularly if they have been diagnosed with genital herpes (HSV 2). Although this diagnosis may seem like a major problem, especially for those who are in a relationship, but the symptoms of herpes can be treated and even mitigated by diet, exercise and other natural means. It is important to keep this in mind when dealing with the emotional effects of the herpes diagnosis.

Emotional Effects of Herpes

The initial reaction to learning that one may have herpes is often disbelief and even an inclination to blame the test for generating incorrect results. This is normally followed by the realization that the test is in fact accurate and that herpes is now a permanent factor of life. This is accompanied by feelings of sadness, helplessness and confusion with regards to actually processing the information. These psychological responses to being diagnosed with Herpes are universal for those of all ages.

Add to this the fact that a herpes diagnosis often leads to stigmatization which can be amongst peers or even self-imposed. Stigmatization simply refers to having an attribute that devalues one member in a group, differs from the norm or is related to undesirable characteristics. A model was created that proposed that negative feelings were directly related to recurrent outbreaks. Therefore, Herpes lesions drive these negative effects, especially amongst those with poor coping abilities.

If the Herpes diagnoses is found on the genitals, the emotions are strengthened thus kick-starting a number of consequences such as anxiety, hostility, shame, depression, low self-esteem and social isolation. In turn, these effects play a significant role in an individual’s decision to discuss their ailment with friends, family, medical professionals and potential and current sexual partners.

Dealing with Herpes Emotionally

The first step to reduce the feelings of stigmatization is concurrent with reducing the frequency of outbreaks. Historically, stress was believed to be a major driver of outbreaks but experts are now challenging this theory. Researchers have found that recurring outbreaks can actually cause additional stress. Regardless, managing the factors that contribute to stress can help reduce outbreak frequency.

Researchers have discovered that stress reduction combined with stress management and muscle relaxation techniques can combat the frequency of outbreaks. This type of research supports the fact that it is critical for those living with Herpes to properly plan to decrease outbreaks. These techniques and others taught in guides such as The Ultimate Herpes Protocol are simple to follow and considerably less expensive over the long-term instead of relying solely on medication.

There are several psychological methods that will help you speed the process of adjusting to the ailment. First, you must realize that it is normal to be emotionally stressed by Herpes at first. To realize come to grips with it, you must have time to adjust and remember that it will get easier. Second, consider that genital Herpes is like any other infection and you were capable of managing those. Third, if you start to feel isolated, find someone to lean on. This could be a close friend or call the National STI Hotline to speak to a counselor. There are also group sessions you can attend to help you cope with the ailment. Finally, do not assume that having Herpes will prevent you from being involved in a long-term relationship. There are millions of couples who deal with the virus daily and they make it work.

Discussing Your Herpes with your Partner

When you have been diagnosed with Herpes, you must always tell your partner. However, you must say it the right way in the correct time and place. First, consider how you want your partner to take the news. Of course you do not want it to be a major problem so present it in a casual, unemotional and direct manner. Also, do not suggest how your partner should react. It is best to just say you have Herpes and ask if they know what that entails then be prepared to present facts.

Therefore, prior to approaching your partner, you want to learn as much about the ailment as possible so you can answer any questions they may have. Always stress that it is quite common and give them a one-in-five-type statistic which can be settling. Some occasionally get sores on their genitals while others have symptoms that are so mild they do not even notice them. In the end, do not load the discussion with only negative imagery. As difficult as it may be, add as many positive and neutral aspects as possible to the conversation.

In addition to minding your language, pick an appropriate setting and do not interrupt what your partner is doing when you break the news. For instance, do not call them at work or school or barge into a room to break the news. The correct setting is relaxed and comfortable without distractions. A conversation over a walk in the park or a quiet dinner is preferred.

Understanding that Herpes Doesn’t Have to be a Life Sentence

Throughout the entire process, remember that being diagnosed with Herpes is not the end of the world. Diet, exercise, natural supplements and medication can help all mitigate the symptoms. Herpes does not mean you will never have a relationship again or that your current partner will leave you. Being educated on the virus and educating others is the best approach to removing the stigmatization behind the ailment and leading a normal, healthy life.

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